Unity through geometry

Did you know that hexagons are the bestagons?

After last week's MacAdmins Conference at Penn State University a conversation sprung up around everyone's favorite swag item: stickers.

How would the community feel about adopting a hexagon sticker standard for the various user groups, interest areas, and maybe even sponsors/vendors?

Example of hexagon stickers in a tessellated design on a laptop lid. (Source: Sticker Mule)

Hexagons are a polygon that are symmetrical and beautifully tessellate. If the different groups within the wider Mac Admins community adopted a hexagon shape for making stickers it would give community members an opportunity to really showcase the unity and camaraderie of the Mac Admins community as a whole! At least, that's how I feel about it. :)

To help folks easily make a hexagon shape sticker I've created a template on Canva that anyone can use. Because of the nature of the built-in frames on Canva there is a little bit of rotational editing involved to get a real sense of what your finished product will look like. So let me take a moment here to talk about how to use the Hexagon sticker template.

To start, you'll need a Canva account. Accounts are free, but are required. (I thought a free account for Canva would be a lower barrier to entry than a Photoshop or Illustrator file that would need a paid license.)

Once you have an account, click on the link to the Hexagon sticker template and use the design.

You may notice on the Hexagon template that the hexagon frame image looks sideways. That's because… it is! The Canva platform doesn't have a built-in frame option with the hexagon rotated at the angle of our template so a little rotation work will be required to work with the frame.

To kick off your design work, find the images you want to use for your sticker design and upload them into Canva.

Once uploaded, drag your image(s) into the frame area. If you're using a background, or have a pre-made logo you are simply cropping into the hexagon frame, add that. 

You may notice that the image pulls in rotated in an odd way, and that's because of the frame rotating I mentioned previously. To reorient the image, double-click within the hexagon frame and select the Crop option. You can then rotate the image -90 degrees and it should sit within the frame oriented the intended direction.

When you've finished editing your image into the frame, click the Share button and select the Download option. From there, select Transparent background and download. (If this feature is unavailable, you can use Preview and the Instant Alpha feature to remove the white background from your downloaded image there).

Once you have your hexagon sticker design ready to go, you'll want to order a custom sticker shape from whatever sticker vendor you prefer and add a note that it should be a hexagon shape and select whatever 2" option there is. Make sure when you get a proof that the sticker will come out the 2" size!

And of course, if you are a savvy Photoshop/Illustrator/whatever person you can use whatever app or service you like to make the design. I just thought Canva would be a helpful starting point for folks. There are also plenty of SVG files for hexagons to be found with a quick search online.

Note that hexagons have slightly different lengths between the long diagonal and parallel sides.

As a result, you'll want to specify in your request that the height of your sticker be 2 inches (with a width of about 1.7 inches). If the dimensions are all the same on the stickers the community makes, the tessellation will work out better for everyone.

If you want to chat further about community stickers or meetups or whatever hop on the Mac Admins Slack and hit us up in the #meetups or #macadminsfoundation channel.

Happy sticker designing! Hope to see some cool 2" hexagon stickers at JNUC this year!

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